Amazon Across America

My first reaction to Amazon buying Whole Foods is “Huh?” Few brands could be any more different. The online retailer is all about giving customers the most for the least amount spent, while the grocer is the pricey purview of the alt-organic lifestyle elite. No moment is better metaphor for Whole Foods’ clientele than the…

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Bill Gates’ Backdoor Policy

I see something disingenuous about Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates supporting the government’s demands that Apple selectively unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif. shooters. The former CEO turned philanthropist spoke to the Financial times in an interview posted today. The implications for Microsoft cannot be overstated, and the company’s current chief executive…

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If You Can Vote for American Idol on Smartphones, Why Not Presidents?

Over the weekend, my 94 year-old father-in-law asked what I would do to assure that every American who could vote would do so. That was an unexpected question, but one I addressed gingerly. This post is my answer restated for a public venue. Simple answer: Smartphone. According to PewResearchCenter, nearly 70 percent of Americans own…

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What is the Google Free Economy?

Today I posted the third installment of my investigative news analysis series “What Does the ‘Google Free Economy’ Cost You?”, which is being crowdfunded through Byline: “Obituary for the Fourth Estate, Part 1“. The headline derives from a subhead in the first story, which I share here, below the fold. During the editing, I nearly broke…

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The Day HBO GO is Stand-alone Subscription, I’m Done with Cable

Against the background noise of ridiculous Apple rumors, television ambitions are constant. Apple wants to be a TV network, will build a flat-screen industry-changer, or soon will release stunning new set-top box. Sources are vague; days, months, and years pass devoid of the next big thing. Today, Aaron Pressman (@ampressman) tweets story: “Apple’s Promised TV…

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My First Kindle ebook: Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph

Yesterday, my first ebook published to Amazon, with the strangest of titles, having nearly nothing to do with the contents. In May, I submitted “The Principles of Design” to the bookseller for consideration as a Kindle Single. Singles are curated, short-form works, between 5,000 and 30,000 words. Amazon acts as editor and publisher. Four weeks…

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‘The China Question’ Revisited

In March 2009, I asked “The China Question,” highlighting shocking parallels between the 1920s and `00s (the “Noughties”). Both decades similarly started off and ended, with boom and bust. Other parallels show how quickly an empire collapses—the Brits during early last century and quite possibly the yanks during this decade. I resurface the post in…

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